From the outside, the three-storey building on Speicherergasse 13 looks unremarkable. A sturdy wooden door leads to the stairs. The rows of windows above the taxi bar do not suggest anything bad. The interior of the building is very different: the walls in the staircase are pink, as are the doors to the six apartments. The ringing is nothing more than "Lana" or "Eve".
On photo 's on the doors of the apartment the women behind the first name were in a lascivious pose and in provocative lingerie. Her mobile number is also noted. The women come from Russia, Poland or Romania and the brothel operation has been approved by the government body. The home, where sex is offered for cash, is owned by a FSZ Immobilien AG from Hergiswil.
Fredy Schönholzer is behind the company. The 69-year-old was once a dazzling figure in the red light district of Zurich and today owns a real estate empire. If one believes the authorities involved, the offer of the Speichergasse 13 can be considered as representative of prostitution in the city of Bern: it is discrete, authorized and controlled by the authorities.
The operator's complaints
Just a few meters away, at Aarbergergasse 14, a similar brothel operation is planned. After they became aware of these plans, a wave of indignation went through the party mile. More than 100 local residents and business people filed a collective intervention with the governor until the end of July. Immediately stood the old familiar question in the room where prostitution should take place, and especially where not.
"The new law has made progress, particularly in terms of protection against exploitation and abuse."Alexander Ott
In the city of Bern, the question of where the oldest trade in the world has to offer its services has actually been tightened up. The cantonal prostitution law, which has been in force since 2013, plays a role. This should better protect sex workers from abuse through stricter licensing and control practices.
The stricter conditions with regard to working conditions and hygiene standards led to the closure of sex parlors. According to the latest report from the Prostitution Trade Commission (Kopg), 8 brothels were hired in the city of Bern between April 2016 and April 2017, so there are still 29.
This is in stark contrast to the growing number of sex workers in the city of Bern. 2068 first submissions including expansions were received by the aliens police during the same period.
The operator of the planned brothel at Aarbergergasse 14, Dominic Schmid, also complained to the "Confederation" about the many licensing conditions. These are allegations that Alexander Ott does not want to accept.
"Every exploitation permit – be it for sex work or another company – is subject to conditions," says the head of the aliens police and co-head of the city's police inspectorate. The circumstances are not an "obstacle" in his eyes, because complete documentation can be granted quickly.
"The new law has made great strides, particularly in terms of protection against exploitation and abuse," says Ott.
Inlet only with codeword
Christa Ammann, head of the cantonal specialist office for sex work Xenia, criticizes herself more critically. The council member of Bernese (alternative left) complains that prostitutes withdraw more and more in their private home and only work on the basis of the new law. The Kopg report from last year also confirms this trend.
"The lack of affordable space and the high administrative obstacles promote a move to private homes," says Ammann. This means that the sex workers are more difficult to reach for Xenia. "Your protection is getting worse."
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that according to the new law, women who only buy at home do not need a permit. This means that they are also under the radar of the authorities. "It is very labor intensive to find such companies," says Alexander Ott.
Especially because such providers do not want to be discovered. Ads are only shown on relevant websites, sometimes even only in Darknet, access is only possible against a previously agreed code word. Such cases, however, are rare according to Ott.
Authorities are helpful
The move to private homes can also be problematic with regard to zone conformity. Because prostitution should not actually take place in pure residential areas. This has been laid down by the Federal Court in several judgments, the last time in 2012 at the brothel on the Lagerweg in Lorraine, which then had to close.
The federal Supreme Court justified this with "immaterial immissions". Behind the bureaucratic term lies the idea that could be injured by a brothel operation in a residential area, the emotional feelings of the population.
"Classical boiling is a marginal phenomenon in Bern."Christa Ammann
Since the entry into force of the prostitution law, every brothel trade has needed a license that appears at the beginning of the authorities in various establishments that have been living in a residential area for years. It was not the case that all these mainly small companies in the horizontal industry were immediately closed and the women were sent out into the streets.
"We let a certain goodwill dominate," says Christoph Lerch, governor Bern-Mittelland and chairman of the Kopg. In other words, if there was no objection from the neighborhood, the operation was put on hold & # 39; patience.
Nor would it be effective for Lerch if brothels were only provided in remote industrial zones. Christa Ammann agrees. There, women increasingly work alone or in sparsely populated areas where the neighborhood is lacking and the road to work is more dangerous.
Cheating with the lease
Another stubborn subject is the high rent that benefits the operators of the brothel. Especially for the Xenia department, which advises sex workers, this is annoying. That is why many sex workers prefer to have their own four walls. "The rental income is still much too high," says Christoph Lerch.
And Alexander Ott of the Aliens Police confirmed that 600 francs per week are customary to buy a room. In a three-room apartment with three sex workers, many together for a landlord. "This is doubtful insofar as one considers how filthy such apartments are usually," says Ott.
In addition, according to the Kopg report, operators of the exploitation deceive the lease. For example, they use lower daily rent or cash as a percentage of turnover. And to make a judgment for usury with scandalous rent in court is difficult, says Alexander Ott.
He remembers a case where the offense was fulfilled. However, although a bordering company had demanded the usual local rents, it invoiced amounts up to 500 francs for incidental costs, such as waste disposal, cleaning or TV connection.
No perspective in the house
"There will always be abuse in this company," says Ott. Nevertheless, it should be noted that prostitution takes place in Bern in a relatively orderly manner. The grim image of the violent pimp, which is repeatedly painted on the wall, has hardly any justification, at least not in Bern. Christa Ammann from Xenia also says: "Classical boiling is a marginal phenomenon in Bern."
The fact is that the majority of prostitutes in Bern would only spend a few days in the federal city, and then move on to Lucerne, Zurich or Winterthur. After the 90-day period for the free movement of persons had expired, they would return to their home country. According to Alexander Ott, this is 90 percent in the EU / Efta area.
"Many prostitutes in Switzerland because they have no perspective in their home country," says Ott. When this newspaper could enter a red light environment a few years ago, a prostitute from Poland remarked: "If I spend an hour with a man, I get about 300 francs.
I always work for this money in Poland. "Women like them earn very quickly a relatively large amount with their resources to take care of their families.In spite of these seemingly almost romantic examples, Alexander Ott clearly states:" Of all sex workers who have registered with the immigration police, no one has stated that it's their dream job. " (Berner newspaper)
Created: 08/20/2018, 21:33 clock